Friday, March 14, 2014

Dancing a Prayer of Sadness

We received word of a terrible, tragic  death of the 24 year old friend of one of our sons.
Our world will not be the same.
This is the kid who lived down the street. Who slept over at our house in a pile of boys in the basement. Who had a world class science project. Who got up in the dark winter mornings to get to 6 a.m. team wrestling practices at the school. An athlete and a scholar.

Whose Mom & Dad took him to church, showed up at every school event, whose Mom & Dad loved him madly. Who was our son's good friend, and fun. A law school student.

Who was a Christian. Who, yes, messed with drugs and alcohol, which everyone expected was a passing thing. Maybe it was or wasn't, but somehow this bright young man lost sight of all light, and got desperate. And took his own life.

Our son called us, facetime, across the continents and ocean. This is when it's hard to be so far away. There are times when to see your kid on a little phone screen is not enough.

In Christian tradition, it's Lent, and at the LTS chapel we entered into the season of dust and ashes with (of all things) dancing.

Southeast Asian dancing is expressive, from the arch of the foot to the plane of the outstretched hand.
Just so, our spirits try to express sadness, and anger, and confession, and more sadness, in prayer.
It is for just a death like this,  that we Christians insistently cling to hope beyond all hope: That there will, in fact, be full redemption, a rising up, of this particular and beloved life, the good friend of our son.

In Romans 8:26, St. Paul writes:  the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.